1st Dec 2012

Healthy Lifestyle Helps Close the Gap

Congress Healthy Lifestyle and Tobacco Cessation Program supports local Aboriginal people wanting to make positive changes to health and lifestyle.

Ever thought about quitting smoking, cutting back on cigarettes or trying to get a bit fitter or healthier? The Congress Healthy Lifestyle Team is here to help you do just that.

The Healthy Lifestyle and Tobacco Cessation Program supports local Aboriginal people wanting to make positive changes to health and lifestyle. The program operates on a mantra of ‘Live healthy, live strong!’ and is all about encouraging healthy lifestyle choices to suit the individual.

The aim of the program, which has been operating since late 2010, is to promote all aspects of health and wellbeing, including healthy food choices, a more active lifestyle, health education, and not smoking. Things like getting regular health checks, learning about chronic disease and prevention, and becoming aware of the effects of smoking on your children are important messages that the program promotes.

Throughout the year, the Healthy Lifestyle Team attends events across Alice Springs to spread the message of ‘Live Healthy, Live Strong’ and ‘Smoking makes you sick’.

So far this year, they’ve held information stalls and activities at Braitling Primary School, the Centralian Middle School health expo, a mini-circuit at the VIBE 3 on 3 Basketball Challenge, the Alice Springs Show, and during Alice Springs NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The Healthy Lifestyle Team also recently held a mini-circuit as part of a Trachoma Football Clinic at Yipirinya School, which saw more than 80 children take part in the fun physical activities.

Coming up on the calendar for the team, which consists of a Tobacco Action Worker, Healthy Lifestyle Workers and Aboriginal Outreach Workers, is a health promotion stall at Tangentyere Council, workshops with years 7-9 at Centralian Middle School Girls Academy – with a focus on effects of smoking tobacco, healthy eating, physical activity, regular health checks, preventable chronic disease – and workshops at Centralian Senior College.

Programs that promote good health are important in Closing the Gap in indigenous health. A significant component of the gap in healthy outcomes is related to chronic diseases, many of which are influenced by lifestyle factors, such as smoking, nutrition, obesity and an inactive lifestyle.

So if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who wants to quit smoking, is thinking about quitting, wants to start living a healthier lifestyle, or wants ideas on how to live healthier and stronger, having a yarn with the Congress Healthy Lifestyle Team is a good place to start. They can refer you to see your doctor, Aboriginal health worker or registered nurse for further assistance. Quitline is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 13 QUIT (13 78 48).

For more information, call the Congress Healthy Lifestyle Team on 89584569 or 89584570.